Riverview First United Methodist Church was founded in 1846—the very first Methodist church in Hillsborough County, Florida. In a couple of years, we will be 175 years old. We have been serving the Riverview community from our corner at Riverview Drive and U.S. 301 South for several generations.
As our church building and grounds continue to age, (along with many in our congregation), we recognize that soon many major repairs will need to be made. The roofs of our sanctuary and our youth building will need to be replaced sometime within the next few years. Our air conditioning systems are failing with increased frequency, and replacement parts for these units (installed before 1975) are becoming harder to find. Dead trees need to be removed, and many of our large oaks need to be trimmed throughout the property. Our wish list for future improvements include adding a bathroom in the sanctuary building and a playground area for our children.
Accordingly, the Finance Committee and the Trustees have created a Legacy Fund—a savings account held at the Florida United Methodist Foundation in Lakeland. We have pledged to add $100 a week to the Legacy Fund. We have an initial goal of raising $25,000 to replace our sanctuary roof within five years.
Our regular general fund is used to pay staff salaries, to fund programs like VBS and children and adult education, to pay our apportionments and other connectional obligations, and to pay our utilities and routine maintenance. We also have a dedicated building fund which we use to make emergency repairs, which recently have included air conditioning repair, and significant repairs to the septic and plumbing systems at the parsonage.
The Legacy Fund is over and above these funding sources. Its purpose is to provide a savings vehicle to help us meet anticipated future buildings and grounds improvements. It is not a replacement for the other funds, but an additional way for our members to commit a portion of their treasure for the future survival and growth of our church.
We are asking that everyone occasionally designate a little extra in their offering envelope towards the Legacy Fund. We are looking to increase our overall giving by about $100 per week over our average weekly giving of about $4,000—an increase of about 2.5%. The Legacy Fund is also a way for our older members to designate a behest as part of their estate planning.
We are all looking forward to 2021 when RUMC can wave its banner high at the Florida Annual Conference as we will celebrate 175 years of continuous service to the Riverview community.